Elections will be held on June 10 to fill 57 Rajya Sabha seats from 15 states, with the Akali Dal likely to lose presence in the upper house and the BJP's tally to remain below 100 after touching the milestone recently. The Election Commission on Thursday, May 12, announced elections to the seats that will be falling vacant due to the retirement of members on different dates between June and August. Prominent among those retiring are Union ministers Piyush Goyal and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Congress leaders Ambika Soni, Jairam Ramesh and Kapil Sibal, and BSP's Satish Chandra Misra.
Members are retiring between June 21 and August 1. The BJP currently has 95 and the Congress 29 MPs in the 245-member House. While 11 seats are falling vacant in Uttar Pradesh, six members each are retiring from Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, five from Bihar and four each from Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Karnataka. Three members each from Madhya Pradesh and Odisha, two each from Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Punjab Jharkhand and Haryana, and one from Uttarakhand are also retiring.
The BJP is set to suffer losses in Andhra Pradesh, where it has three outgoing members, Jharkhand and Rajasthan but is hopeful of making up for it in states like Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The Akali Dal's lone member from Punjab Balwinder Singh Bhunder and Congress' Ambika Soni are likely to make way for members from the Aam Aadmi Party whose huge strength in the assembly will ensure that it wins both seats.
Five BJP MPs are among the 11 retiring Rajya Sabha members from UP, and the party along with its allies is in a position to win eight seats, while the opposition Samajwadi Party may retain its tally of three. In Maharashtra, the ruling coalition Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress coalition has the strength to ensure its victory in all the three seats it holds, while the BJP can comfortably win two of its three seats. The elections are also likely to see the BSP's presence in the upper house reducing to a mere one.
The notification for the polls will be issued on May 24 and voting will be held on June 10. According to established practice, counting will take place an hour after the conclusion of polling. Most of the new members who get elected are likely to vote in the President's election, due sometime in July.